(written from a Production point of view)
Lieutenant Barclay, an introverted diagnostic engineer, is having difficulties dealing with his fantasies.
Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, a brilliant engineer, relaxes in Ten Forward when Counselor Troi enters. Guinan, tending bar, warns Barclay that she doesn't want trouble here. Barclay questions why there'd be trouble, and she answers that wherever Barclay goes, trouble seems to follow. Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge enters and browbeats Barclay for being derelict; he's supposed to be on duty. Barclay exhibits gross insubordination, tells La Forge to "take himself and his holier-than-thou attitude and get out of his life", and shoves La Forge so hard he sprawls against a booth near the starboard wall.
Commander Riker approaches from the other end of the bar, strangely not looking shocked or angered, and tells Barclay that what Barclay has just done is insubordination, to which Barclay toasts after glancing at Troi. Riker makes a grab for Barclay but Barclay reverses and suddenly has Riker in a choke hold. Barclay tells Riker that he's nothing more than "a pretty mannequin in a fancy uniform", full of hot air. If Captain Picard has something to say to him, he should come and say it himself. Barclay releases Riker hard, slamming him on the bar. As this happens, La Forge finally recovers from his sprawl and runs out of Ten Forward.
Troi, watching these events, seems worried over what she senses from Barclay. Indeed, as Barclay joins her, she says that she senses his confidence and arrogant resolve, and that it excites her. They're just about to kiss, when suddenly an unknown officer's voice pipes up on the intercom, and tells Barclay to report to Cargo Bay 5, now. Barclay tells Troi that it (whatever they were going to do) will have to wait until later, and annoyed, tells the voice he'll be right there.
Then he stands near the entrance to Ten Forward, and says, "Save program," and everything disappears, leaving the yellow hologrid of the holodeck. Barclay has been running a holodeck simulation of his delusions of grandeur, and his attitude as shown on his face indicates a far more timid, hesitant personality than the one we've seen.
In Cargo Bay 5, the real La Forge and Riker are overseeing the beam-in of several containers on the cargo bay's transporter pad. La Forge tells Riker that he is basically at his wit's end when dealing with Barclay, that he is always late and never gives his best effort, and questions how someone like Barclay could have even made it through the Academy. Riker says he'll speak to the captain about "Broccoli", then explains that this is the nickname Wesley has given Barclay, and tells La Forge to keep it to himself; La Forge notes that the nickname is apt. The officer, Duffy, working with the canisters has now placed them on an anti-grav sled, and informs La Forge that one of the canisters has a broken seal; indeed we see vapor pouring from the front middle canister. La Forge tells Duffy to destroy the broken canister, as the samples inside will be tainted.
The cargo bay doors open and finally Barclay arrives. Upon spotting his two superiors he moves behind several red barrels to try to hide, but they've seen him, and La Forge asks him if it is a problem to report to duty on time. Barclay makes up some lame story about having received a communique that required his attention, but La Forge doesn't want to hear it. He cools off, though, and tells Barclay about the anti-grav platform's difficulty. Barclay moves to follow his orders, but Riker grabs his arm, and tells him he's tired of seeing him disciplined by his superiors; he doesn't know how things were done on Barclay's last posting, but here, on the Enterprise, there is a different standard. Riker walks out, casting dark glances back towards Barclay.
- "Captain's log, Stardate 43807.4. We're taking on a load of special tissue samples donated by the Mikulaks for shipment to Nahmi IV. The samples could prove vital to the containment of an outbreak of Correllium fever on that world."
Despite Barclay's assurances that everything looks normal to him, the anti-grav platform falters after a few seconds and drops another canister. O'Brien moves to clean it up (it is spewing more vapor), and La Forge calls for more people from engineering. Barclay stammers that it shouldn't do that, and La Forge simply gestures, prompting Barclay to help with the cleanup. Barclay takes a panel off the unit and a chip out of the assembly, then inserts a testing device.
In his ready room, Captain Picard is looking over the several reports made against Barclay and notes that he isn't used to seeing a man under his command on report. Riker questions whether Barclay is Enterprise material, and Picard infers from La Forge's request for Barclay's transfer that the former thinks that the latter is not. La Forge adds that he thought he could work with anyone, until "Broccoli," who makes everyone nervous. Picard picks up on the nickname; Riker tells the truth, that it was an invention of Wesley's, and Picard orders that the nickname usage be stopped. Barclay has served competently in Starfleet for years; Picard notes what he's heard from Captain Gleason of the Zhukov, that Barclay performed quite brilliantly as an engineer. Riker wonders if Gleason wasn't shading the real truth of Barclay's performance, as he knew that the Enterprise was in need of a diagnostic engineer, and was trying to rid himself of the neurotic officer. Riker also looked into Barclay's psychological profile and says he has a history of seclusive tendencies that was noted at the Academy more than once. Picard notes that despite Barclay's behavior, he chose this way of life and made the same commitment to Starfleet as everyone else. It is too easy to transfer a problem to someone else, and Picard denies the transfer request; instead, he assigns La Forge to work with Barclay and make him La Forge's pet project, despite La Forge's protests that he can barely stand to be in the same room with Barclay.
La Forge, looking like a cow being led to the slaughter, approaches Barclay, still examining the inner workings of the anti-grav unit in the cargo bay. La Forge does his level best to encourage Barclay and advises him to take his time with the unit's problems. La Forge tells Barclay that he would be a good addition to La Forge's senior staff meeting in the morning; Barclay positively squeals and asks what he should talk about, but La Forge assures Barclay that there's no pressure, just to be there. Barclay says he'll be on time, at 0800 hours. He looks a little stunned at La Forge's praise.
As the meeting in engineering starts, La Forge encourages his staff (including Costa, Myers, Duffy, and Wesley) to start their brains. The absence of Barclay is noted, however. He comes in just a hair too late, but La Forge doesn't call him on it. He immediately assigns engine work to Duffy and Costa, and assigns Wesley, on assignment to engineering as part of his training, to Myers, and jokingly instructs him to teach Wesley the difference between impulse and warp drive. La Forge next moves on to Barclay's preliminary report on the anti-grav failure, noting that there are some interesting theories he posited. Barclay is again somewhat lost, and La Forge has to prompt him to report to the staff. During his report, Duffy looks somewhat disdainful as Barclay stammers through some tech stuff on which Wesley immediately corrects him; Barclay looks quite abashed as the engineering staff moves off to accomplish their duties, and follows at a distance.
In counseling with Troi, Barclay has regained his confident tone and swagger despite what he's saying, and expresses his disgust with himself that he didn't know how to respond to Wesley at the meeting; "I should have told him to mind his own damn business." Troi notes that Barclay is letting this incident get him much too upset; she asks why Barclay is so hard on himself; to help him relax, she gives him a passionate kiss. Barclay calls for a change of program, and the scene shifts to a warm, arboreal paradise, with Troi in a toga. She identifies herself as the "Goddess of Empathy," encouraging Barclay to cast off his inhibitions and embrace love, truth, and joy. Barclay approaches, and again they kiss passionately.
In Ten Forward, the engineering staff is informally discussing the morning meeting. Wesley complains that La Forge criticized him for correcting Barclay, that the staff meeting is supposed to be about discussing different approaches. Again, the nickname "Broccoli" is used. Data expresses confusion – first that Lieutenant Barclay is being clandestinely referred to as a vegetable, then that the assignment of a nickname is usually between friends, not as a pejorative. At this, Commander La Forge relays the captain's orders to stop using the nickname. Suddenly Duffy discovers his glass is leaking; the structure seems to have been twisted from within.
Data, scanning the twisted glass in engineering with a tricorder, determines that its atomic structure has been abnormally altered. It is not a problem with the replicator, as that would affect the liquid in the glass as well as the glass itself. Data surmises that the glass had been struck with electricity somehow, which means a complete workup of the power systems on the Enterprise – all four thousand of them. Barclay is assigned to the project, but he awkwardly states he was already going to look at the power systems anyway, to find out what went wrong with the anti-grav unit.
On the bridge, La Forge shows the glass to Riker, who asks if the ship may need to go to a starbase, something that will not be known until the power systems are examined. Data points out that it was Barclay who first said that there could be a correlation between the glass and the anti-grav unit failure. Barclay exhibits his usual self-effacing mannerism, as Picard approaches the science stations around which they are all crowded. Picard asks Barclay if power should be affected during the tests; Barclay stammers his way toward saying he doesn't think so. Picard gives an encouraging smile, and tells "Mr. Broccoli" to carry on. The crew (except for Barclay, of course) looks very amused in Picard's direction; Picard is shocked and appalled at his mistake, and corrects himself quickly. It doesn't help Barclay's demeanor, and he takes his leave, looking mortified. Data chalks Picard's mistake up to metathesis, somewhat encouragingly; the others turn away, as Picard continued to look shocked and appalled, Riker quietly amused, and La Forge somewhat shaken.
La Forge talks to Guinan about Barclay. She doesn't see anything out of the ordinary with him; he just comes in, never talks to anyone, and just orders warm milk to help him sleep. La Forge is just trying to figure Barclay out, as he doesn't have the luxury of letting him be, as Guinan does. Guinan confides that Barclay is imaginative ("I just know"), and La Forge expresses doubt in an imaginative person's value as an engineer, or rather just Barclay's place on the ship; he just doesn't fit in. Guinan remembers the story of her uncle Terkim, the family misfit; she had grown very close to him when no one else did. She had picked up her own fear of fitting in from Terkim. She says that if everyone felt uncomfortable around her, she'd probably be always late and as nervous as Barclay is. Guinan then moves off to serve another customer, leaving La Forge to his thoughts. Finally he calls from his combadge for the location of Barclay, who is in the holodeck, as seems the norm these days.
La Forge opens the holodeck doors onto the idyllic arboreal paradise we saw before; he calls for Barclay, to no avail. He comes across Doctor Crusher and Wesley as holograms, only they are in 17th century clothing, and enjoying a picnic. Dr. Crusher chides her son, saying that "Master Barclay" will spank him if he misbehaves. Dr. Crusher notes that "the boys" got into a bit of a scrap, but that boys will be boys. Suddenly, a great shout draws La Forge's attention, and he sees Barclay involved in a fierce fencing match with holographic duplicates of La Forge, Picard, and Data, all in period dress. Data offers Barclay the chance to yield since he is outnumbered, even though Barclay is winning; Barclay responds, "I shall speak with my sword, sir!" and continues the battle with two swords. Finally, left alone against Picard, Barclay responds admirably, and Picard is perplexed as to how Barclay learned to fight the way he does. Barclay claims he is self-taught, sardonically offers to teach Picard, and defeats him with his swords against Picard's throat. Picard mentions the real La Forge behind Barclay, who disbelieves him at first, but La Forge clears his throat. Barclay looks back and blanches; he's been found out.
Back in Ten Forward, Barclay offers to be transferred, but now La Forge won't hear of it. He's spent a few hours on the holodeck too, and feels what Barclay does there is his own business. But La Forge doesn't understand why he's making copies of the ship's crew instead of original characters; Barclay claims it is to blow off steam, especially against one particular officer, and La Forge knows Barclay means him. Barclay couldn't, of course, tell La Forge off to his face, so he made the holographic La Forge and the others as a catharsis when he's fencing against them. La Forge strongly recommends Barclay talk to Troi about his holo-addiction, but Barclay's against it; he is far too nervous and afraid of forgetting little details that may turn others against him, but La Forge pulls rank on Barclay and orders him to counseling.
O'Brien calls La Forge to the transporter room, and reports that there's a major problem; O'Brien shows La Forge how he transports a pure duranium test cylinder from one pad, into the buffer, and onto another pad; no problem, but when he beams the canister back, it's broken and steaming. La Forge, in a bit of gallows humor, expresses his relief at the fact that he has no place to go at the moment.
- "Chief Engineer's Log, Stardate 43808.2. A systems analysis of Transporter Room Three has yielded no suggestion of a cause for the latest malfunction aboard the Enterprise."
Picard examines the remains of the duranium canister on the transporter pad that fell apart during transport, along with Riker and La Forge; it's strange that no other transporter rooms are malfunctioning... yet. They will reach Nahmi IV in twenty-two hours, and Picard wants all transporters working by then. He orders a level-1 diagnostic across the board. Riker orders La Forge to summon Barclay to the bridge, but La Forge advises Riker to hold off until 14:00 hours; La Forge has Barclay working on something. Riker agrees, and on his way out orders O'Brien to cease maintenance on the transporters until further notice.
Barclay is in counseling with Troi – it is obvious now that it is the real Troi, as she's not acting amorous at all, purely as a counselor – and Barclay is as nervous as ever. He declines Troi's offer to help him feel more comfortable; he talks about his former counselor, who wasn't really a counselor. After turning the lights down, Troi leads Barclay in some relaxation exercises, and tells him to breathe slowly, in through his nose and out through his mouth. Troi places a comforting hand on Barclay's arm. Barclay embraces the technique, but breathing rapidly, and practices it while quickly and nervously making his way out of Troi's office. We can only imagine the horrible mixed messages that go through Barclay's mind and are picked up by Troi.
Troi goes up to the bridge and talks to La Forge at the science station; she describes her visit from Barclay as "very strange" – she's not sure what happened, as he left so suddenly. Riker leaves the ready room and asks Worf where Barclay is; La Forge calls for Barclay, to no avail; Riker learns from the computer that Barclay is in the holodeck again. He's fed up, and goes with Troi and La Forge to get Barclay out of there.
La Forge warns Riker obliquely that Barclay is running "some unique programs", but Riker doesn't care what he's been running; he just ran out of patience with Barclay. Again the holodeck opens onto the arboreal paradise of Barclay's fantasies; hearing raised voices somewhere, the three head off to find them. Troi is amused to find Data, Picard, and La Forge dressed as the Three Musketeers, but Riker is not.
Riker, in an agitated voice, declares that crewmembers should not be simulated in the holodeck as a matter of protocol. The Musketeers look up and notice Riker, but they don't respond. Riker calls to erase the program instantly, but Troi belays the order, theorizing that if the means by which Barclay responds to reality is removed suddenly, the psychological damage could be quite severe.
Musketeer Picard opines on the disagreeable nature of the real crew members; the three stand up and prepare to have at them. Riker doesn't want to fight them, so the Musketeers call him a coward; then they summon the holographic Number One, a bumbling fool much shorter than Riker's actual self, who stumbles over to the crew and screams in a squeaky voice, "EN GARDE!" Riker asks his double where Barclay is; the hologram Riker assumes it is a personal grudge. He advises Riker to prepare for death, as Barclay is the greatest sword – "in all the holodeck," grumbles Riker, to Troi's amusement. Troi remarks that Riker's height might threaten some people, which may be why Barclay designed Number One like this; Riker is terminally disgusted with Number One and erases him from the program. The Musketeers are in turn disgusted at Riker's poor sense of fair play; they simply turn their backs when La Forge asks again where Barclay is. Riker is doubtful as to the need to search through what could be a gigantic program, but Troi sees the opportunity to get valuable information about what troubles Barclay.
"There's nothing wrong with a healthy fantasy life, as long as you don't let it take over," are the famous last words before Troi sets eyes on her counterpart, the Goddess of Empathy. Troi's jaw drops and steam nearly pours from her ears, so red is her face. The Goddess continues to spew soothing rhetoric, and Troi starts to erase the Goddess, but Riker stops her, turning her own words back on her. Troi seems fit to slap both Riker and La Forge when they agree that Barclay has a healthy fantasy life after seeing the Goddess.
Back on the bridge, the ship suddenly speeds up to warp 7.25, with no explanation but that the engines have malfunctioned. The speed is brought back to warp 7; Data explains the matter-antimatter injectors malfunctioned for a second. It is a mystery, and Picard calls on La Forge to solve it. La Forge, of course, isn't in engineering, but promises to return as soon as he finds Barclay. La Forge tells the Goddess of Empathy that they need to find Barclay now, but she is now hitting on all of them, including Troi, who advises a shocked Goddess to "muzzle it!" Then they start off again in search of Barclay. They find him, being tended by Doctor Crusher while he sleeps. Doctor Crusher shushes them, but they wake Barclay up and hurry out of the holodeck.
Troi looks like she's going to pummel Barclay, but La Forge rescues him by dragging him off to engineering as requested by the Captain. La Forge and Barclay discuss the nature of his holo-addiction; La Forge relates that he fell in love in the holodeck once, but he knew when to turn it off. Barclay confides that the people he creates in the holodeck are more real to him than those he meets in real life… except maybe La Forge. La Forge reiterates his sincere need to have Barclay out in the real world, giving him a clap on the shoulder.
Barclay suggests dropping out of warp to cure the non-responsive diagnostic systems, but now the engines will not respond. The injectors are physically jammed. Then the ship accelerates, right up to warp 9.
Picard calls for red alert as the ship threatens to tear itself apart in about sixteen minutes; La Forge doesn't know what to do but he'll notify the bridge as soon as he does. La Forge calls for every idea to be thrown down on the master situations table; several technically-obscure solutions are offered, all shot down instantly as already tried. La Forge shouts that he needs to find a connection to the anti-grav unit failure, the twisted glass, the transporter malfunction, and now the jammed matter/antimatter injectors, just as the ship starts to tear; on the bridge, preparation for emergency saucer separation is made, but due to uneven plasma flow in the nacelles, Data announces to Picard that a saucer separation could rupture the warp field, which has now propelled them to warp 9.4.
Barclay finally blurts out an idea; what if one or more of the engineering crew is the connection to all the malfunctions? Someone could've picked up an untraceable substance and carried it around the ship. The common link is that both Duffy and O'Brien were in the cargo bay with the failed anti-grav, and one of them was present at each of the other malfunctioning equipment; they could be carriers. La Forge, with the help of the computer, narrows the list of suspected reactants – those that would not be picked up by a standard scan (15,525), exist in an oxygen atmosphere (532), and can modify the molecular structure of glass (5). He and the others then begin evaluating the five remaining substances one by one. Barclay eliminates jakmanite; it has too short a half-life (fifteen seconds) to be spread around the ship. Wesley eliminates selgninaem and lucovexitrin; both are too toxic for a person to carry around. Saltzgadum and invidium are the only ones left; and since virtually all of the affected technology was invented after both substances were phased out of use, the chance exists of one of them creating unexpected reactions. La Forge then remembers that invidium was once used in medical containment fields. Although Wesley replies that the Federation hadn't used it in over a century, Barclay counters that the Mikulaks, who gave the Enterprise the samples in the cargo bay, might still use it – and one of their canisters was broken. La Forge tells the bridge that the problem might be invidium contamination; they're off to the cargo bay to confirm the hypothesis.
Barclay opens one of the medical containers; wearing gloves, he now dips his hand into the material in the canister, and La Forge scans it with a colored beam; switching colors, La Forge finally finds it when the beam is purple; swirly bits brighter than the glove material. Barclay states that if the invidium is cooled to −200 °Celsius, it will become inert. La Forge orders gaseous cryonetrium to be flooded through the antimatter injectors to cool and neutralize the invidium.
The engine is pulsing rapidly as the injection of the cold gas commences; the injectors get steadily cooler and cooler, until finally the invidium goes inert. The matter injector responds immediately, while the antimatter injector responds after a power cycle. The warp engines are shut down, and the Enterprise safely drops out of warp.
The immediate danger past, Picard cancels red alert; Riker congratulates La Forge and Barclay on their great work, but La Forge recommends putting in to Starbase 121 for removal of all the invidium remaining on the ship. Picard agrees. La Forge is glad Barclay was out in the real world. A few smacks on the back later, and Barclay seems to have come to a decision.
Barclay arrives on the bridge and stands between Conn and Ops; he announces that he's leaving the crew; it is for the best, he says. La Forge assures Barclay he'll always be welcome on the Enterprise; Picard tells Barclay it was a pleasure to serve with him; Troi wishes him good luck. Barclay says it has been fun... and then ends the program; he was announcing his goodbye to his holo-addiction. Barclay then deletes all of his programs except one, Program Nine. Then he leaves the holodeck, for hopefully a more balanced lifestyle from now on.
"Good, I'll look forward to your report, Mr. Broccoli… (long pause) Barclay."
- - Captain Picard, to Lieutenant Barclay
"I'm just not accustomed to seeing an unsatisfactory rating on a member of my crew."
- - Picard, on Barclay's performance report
"I mean I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there is a party. And then when he finally gets there he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look… comfortable examining a potted plant."
"You're just shy, Barclay."
"Just shy… sounds like nothing serious, doesn't it? You can't know."
- - Barclay and La Forge
"The idea of fitting in just… repels me."
- - Guinan
"If Barclay's having difficulty facing reality, to suddenly destroy his only means of escape would be brutal and could do considerable damage."
- - Deanna Troi
"Computer, belay that order! We want to get more insight into what's been troubling this poor man, remember?" (looks at La Forge) "Quite a healthy fantasy life, wouldn't you say?"
- - Troi, Riker, and La Forge, after Troi comments that it is all right to have a healthy fantasy life but discovers the Goddess of Empathy
"Cast aside your masks, and let me slip into your mind."
- - The Goddess of Empathy
- - Troi, to the Goddess of Empathy
"Sir! You have no sense of fair play!"
- - Holographic Picard, to Commander Riker, after Riker deletes Number One
"Glad you were with us out here in the real world today, Mr. Barclay."
- - La Forge, after he and Barclay save the Enterprise
"It's been fun. Computer – end program. Erase all programs filed under 'Reginald Barclay'. (Pause) Except program 9."
- - Lieutenant Barclay, exiting the holodeck after "resigning" from the holographic Enterprise
- Final draft script: 9 February 1990 
- Premiere airdate: 30 April 1990
- First UK airdate: 25 March 1992
Story and production
- This episode marks the first appearance of Dwight Schultz as Lieutenant Reginald Barclay. Schultz had been a Star Trek fan for a long time, and had asked Rick Berman to consider him if the right part came along. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 125) Schultz' official fan site claims it was Whoopi Goldberg who recommended him to the Star Trek producers. Schultz and Goldberg were working together in the 1990 film The Long Walk Home, during which he told her that he was a lifelong fan of both The Original Series and The Next Generation, in which Goldberg played Guinan. Realizing how great an actor Schultz was, Goldberg approached the producers with the idea of getting him cast in the series. He had no idea of her "actions" until they called him with the news that a guest role was written especially for him. Schultz was thrilled with the part of Lt. Barclay. 
- The production staff noted that the show was not intended as a satire of obsessive Star Trek fans. Director Cliff Bole commented, "I didn't feel that, and I would have heard if it was intended. I certainly didn't approach it that way." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 196)
- Likewise, Michael Piller remarked, "It really was not intended directly at Star Trek fans. It was certainly about fantasy life versus reality. More than any other character in the three years I have been at Star Trek, the character of Barclay was more like me than anybody else. My wife watched that show and saw what was going on, and said that's [me] because I'm constantly in my fantasy world. Fortunately, I make a living at it. I have an extraordinary fantasy life and use my imagination all the time. It's real life that I have the problems with. I was delightfully happy with the episode." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 196) In fact, Barclay's line about "[standing] in the corner, trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant" was taken near-verbatim from something that Piller himself said to Ira Steven Behr shortly after the latter joined the show's writing staff; Behr subsequently added the line to the script when he performed a rewrite on the episode. (TNG Season 3 Blu-ray; "A Tribute to Michael Piller")
- Holo-Wesley's appearance in this episode was based on a famous painting by Thomas Gainsborough called "The Blue Boy". His costume was copied in detail and references to the painter and the painting can be found in the script of the episode. 
- The test cylinder props were actually US Navy sonar buoy transport cases. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 125)
- Barclay refers to a flux capacitor when in Troi's office. According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (? ed., p. ?), this is a reference to the Back to the Future series of films. It appears the term Barclay was supposed to use was "flow capacitor", according to Wesley's dialogue in the previous scene.
- The tune of "The Minstrel Boy" can be heard playing during the scene where Barclay is seen leaving the holodeck at the end of the episode.
- Geordi La Forge alludes to his relationship with a hologram of Leah Brahms from "Booby Trap".
- Miles O'Brien and Worf recall Barclay's holodeck antics in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Image in the Sand". Although neither character actually witnessed Barclay's holoprogram in this episode, La Forge and Barclay are both referred to by name in that episode.
- Beverly Crusher only appears in this episode as a hologram.
- The shot of a test cylinder being beamed away and back again will be reused in "Data's Day".
- Director Cliff Bole remembered: "Dwight Schultz is excellent. He really comes to work prepared and has direction. He did a great job. The fantasy part of it was fun, too. Technically, I had fun on that show. The fans enjoy it when we do an illusion within an illusion. They like those little period fantasies. I was happy with the episode. It was a good character study and a great fantasy within the illusion." ("Cliff Bole – Of Redemption & Unification", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 17, p. 31)
- Jonathan Frakes enjoyed the episode. He recalled, "That was a riot, and the goddess of empathy…" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 196)
- A mission report for this episode by Patrick Daniel O'Neill was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine issue 14, pp. 12-15.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.
Video and DVD releases
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 35, 20 January 1992
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 3.7, 4 September 2000
- As part of the TNG Season 3 DVD collection
- As part of the TNG Season 3 Blu-ray collection
Links and references
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi / Goddess of Empathy
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
- Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher / Barclay's Blue Boy hologram
Special guest star
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Majel Barrett as USS Enterprise-D computer voice
- Joe Bauman as Garvey
- Karen Baxter as operations division ensign
- James G. Becker as Youngblood
- Michele Gerren as science division officer
- Debbie Marsh as command division officer
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Denise Lynne Roberts as Patti
- Unknown performers as
- Command division officer
- Command division officer
- Command division officer
- Female civilian
- Female command division officer
- Female science division officer
- Lieutenant junior grade
- Male officer in cargo bay (voice)
- Operations division ensign
- Science division officer
- Ten Forward waiter
- Ten Forward waitress
- Tom Morga as stunt double for Dwight Schultz
- John Nowak as stunt double for Patrick Stewart
- Brian J. Williams as stunt double for Brent Spiner
- Unknown stunt performer as stunt double for LeVar Burton
Stand-ins and photo doubles
- Doug Biery as photo double for Jonathan Frakes
- Jeffrey Deacon – stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Nora Leonhardt – stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack – stand-in for Brent Spiner
- Lorine Mendell – stand-in for Gates McFadden
- Guy Vardaman – stand-in for Wil Wheaton & Dwight Schultz
- Unknown actor as photo double for LeVar Burton
23rd century; 2349; "a little"; "a lot"; acceleration; "across the board"; adversary; ale; "all right"; "all the time"; ally; anti-grav unit; antimatter flow; antimatter injector; "as far as"; assault; assignment; "at a time"; "at the same time"; atmosphere; atomic; attitude; back; bar; Barclay Program 9; Barclay Program 15; Barclay Program 15 holograms; "be right there"; best friend; Beta Tottoro IV; "blow off some steam"; brain; breath; broccoli; Broccoli; "Buttering our bread"; cage; canister; cargo bay 5; "carry on"; Celsius; chance; chemical compound; choice; cockatoo; combat; commanding officer; computer; computer control protocol; confidence; consonant; corner; Correllium fever; counselor; cup; cryonetrium; cycle; damage; danger; decade; decontamination; diagnostics; diagnostic engineer; diagnostic sweep; diminutive; discomfort; "dismissed"; docking clamps; duranium; Earth; emergency saucer separation; empathy; engine containment field; engine core; engineering; error; evacuation; "excuse me"; explanation; eye; face; fact; failure; "fair play"; "fell in love"; fight; "fitting in"; flow capacitor; flow regulator; flux capacitor; fondness; French language; friend; fuel inlet servos; "full of hot air"; fun; fusion pre-burners; glass; Gleason; "go ahead"; goddess; "good luck"; "Good morning"; graviton inverter circuit; guest; Guinan's mother; half-life; hand; "here and now"; history; "holier than thou"; holo-addiction; holodeck 2; holographic image; holographic program; hour; humor; hundred; "I don't know"; "I don't understand"; idea; imagination; impulse; impulse power; "in common"; "in fact"; "in God's name"; "in good hands"; "in retrospect"; information; inhibition; injector pathway conduit; input; insight; insubordination; internal scan; invention; investigation; invidium; jakmanite; job; joke; joy; kiss; leak; lesson; level 1 diagnostic; liquid; love; lucovexitrin; magnetic capacitor; magnetic field; magnetic quench; malfunction; mannequin; manners; mask; matter injector; mechanism; medical containment field; metathesis; Mikulaks; milk; mind; minute; mission; mission briefing; mister; molecular structure; mood; morning; mouth; mystery; nacelle; Nahmi IV; name; nickname; nitrogen; nose; "not at all"; nucleosynthesis; "of course"; "Oh my God"; "on duty"; "on my way"; "on report"; "on the table"; "on time"; online; order; "out of control"; outbreak; override; oxygen; party; patience; pattern; phase transition coil; physical substance; plan; plant; plasma flow; polarity; polarity scanner; power; power source; power system; power transfer system; preliminary report; problem; project; pronunciation; protocol; psychological profile; question; radiation; rapier; rate of acceleration; rating; real world; realignment procedure; reality; red alert; replication; replicator; report; room; safety limit; saltzgadum; seal; second; secondary hull; selgninaem; senior officer; sensor; sheep; shipment; solution; sound; spanking; speed; "split second"; standard scan; starbase; Starbase 121; starboard; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet regulations; station; substance; suggestion; swirl dampers; sword; symptom; synthehol; systems analysis; temperature; Terkim; test object; "thank you"; therapeutic; thousand; Three Musketeers, The; tissue sample; toast; toxic; training duty; transfer; transfer coil; transfer conduit; transporter; transporter malfunction; Transporter Room 3; trick; tricorder; trip; truth; uniform; "up to speed"; vegetable; velocity; ventral relay; violation; visit; voice; vowel; "wait a minute"; warp drive; warp field; way of life; "what the hell"; work; working theory; "write the book on"; year; yellow; Zhukov, USS
- Warp Core Diagnostic Systems: antimatter stream coil; deuterium injector; deuterium stream coil; dilithium chamber; warp core diagnostic system
- Display of substances: agricultural sterilization agent; Beta Tottoro IV; biological containment vessel; catalyst; Central Plains Area; industrial biochemical system; KDA; kelp; kelp farm; Klingon; Qo'noS; radioisotope; Rigellian colonies; virus culture; yurium
- "Hollow Pursuits" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Hollow Pursuits" at Wikipedia
- "Hollow Pursuits" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Hollow Pursuits" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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"The Most Toys"